Goafest 2014: To what extent did the absence of leading creative agencies dampen the Abby spirit?

By Saumya Tewari and Prachi Srivastava , afaqs!, Goa | In Advertising | June 02, 2014
Goafest is not the same without the leading creative agencies. Britannia's Anuradha Narasimhan swore she would convince its agency partners to attend Goafest next year. Meanwhile, we asked creative folks whether they missed their talented peers.

Karan Rawat

Manish Bhatt

Ashish Chakravarty

Kushal Sanghvi

Karan Rawat, former president and ECD, Umbrella Designs

Most definitely the non-participation of these agencies has affected the size but I don't think the quality of entries has gone down. We have seen good quality of work this year. The committee has also selected a nice venue which does justice to the number of participants as well. I do not think if big agencies participate, smaller ones get overshadowed. Quality work will always speak for itself. When I was heading Umbrella Designs we won awards; even Taproot bagged metals when a large global network like Ogilvy was also competing in the same category. I do not believe in the term 'underdogs'- probably big agencies are scared of smaller ones.

Manish Bhatt, founder-director, Scarecrow Communications

Every award function is as good as the competition and jury. It started with Lowe (R Balki) boycotting the fest and since then there has not been much effort to explain to them why they should consider re-participating. This is affecting an age old brand like Abby which is the only national level award. I think we must write open letters to the non-participating agencies and talk to them to uphold and maintain the tradition of Goafest. These agencies must understand that such a platform is extremely beneficial for the young breed of advertising professionals who learn and imbibe from it. They must not suffer because of the ego tussle happening at the senior level. I won't be surprised if these very agencies hire young upcoming talent who win accolades at Goafest. I think it is an industry act so we as a fraternity must save Abby. I also think that we must celebrate the work first, then the people and lastly, the entity (agency).

Ashish Chakravarty, NCD, Contract Advertising

It has definitely dampened the spirit! Having said that while certain categories had good work I think categories like Film and Radio lacked innovation - we have seen similar stuff before. I also think this year the number of metals being awarded will be less but if they choose to hand out the same number of metals then I guess the benchmark will get lowered.

Kushal Sanghvi, business head, Reliance Entertainment and Digital

I've been coming to Goafest ever since it got instituted so definitely with certain agencies deciding to not participate in the event the number of people has gone down. But it is good to see new categories being introduced like Publisher and Broadcaster which has attracted a lot of talent. However, I do believe these non-participating agencies must rethink their decision. This, however, gives a chance to extremely small and mid-size agencies to push their awards. It's good to see their business grow and it is healthy as well. I must add that this year there was a healthy focus on Digital as well. Goafest has gone the ad:tech this year. I've been told that they have dropped Search category which in my opinion is omnipresent. Almost 30 per cent of all budgets go into search. It involves creative thinking. Yes, there should be more sub- categories in Digital, like Earned Media.

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